Madonna Slams Malawi School Rumors

USMagazine, Tuesday, April 5, 2011, 12:50pm (PDT)
  • Madonna hasn't given up on her efforts to build a school for girls in Malawi, Africa. The star's publicist, Liz Rosenberg, tells that the rumors about her philanthropy falling apart are "wild and totally false."

    "As we have said previously, Raising Malawi is currently undergoing a series of positive changes in an effort to serve more children," says Rosenberg. "Neither Madonna nor Raising Malawi is being investigated by the FBI or the IRS."

    In March, Phillippe van de Bossche, , the school's executive director at the time, was accused of using the organization's funds for expenses including a car and driver and a gold club membership. The charity's co-founder, Michael Berg, said, "A thoughtful decision has been made to discontinue plans for the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, as it was originally conceived," and an interim board replaced the school's leadership.

    "It is unfortunate that people have chosen to say things about Raising Malawi and Madonna that are not true," Rosenberg adds. "Madonna remains committed and focused on what matters: helping the children of Malawi."

    Madonna, 52, has a 14-year-old daughter, Lourdes, with ex-boyfriend Carlos Leon, and a 9-year-old son, Rocco, with ex-husband Guy Ritchie. She also adopted two children -- Mercy Jones, 6, and David, 4 -- from Malawi.

    She said in a statement on March 24, "There is a real education crisis in Malawi. Sixty-seven percent of girls don't go to secondary school, and this is simply unacceptable. Our team is going to work hard to address this in every way we can. While I'm proud of [other] accomplishments, I'm frustrated that our education work has not moved forward in a faster way."


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